Timelapse preparation and execution

Sunrise at Mount Olympos - Troodos

Timelapse comes in many varieties, for example I describe my planning and execution here.


The time lapse should include the sunrise from the highest mountain in Cyprus, the mount Olympos.


Since I know many locations for bird photography as a nature photographer I often connect my photo tour recordings with the search for suitable places for timelapse.

To find my location on the mountain, which allows me for the best visibility, I was three times on the ground until I made the first recordings. The first time was after shooting, against 11:00 am local time at the intended site. By good visibility from the mountain in the distance was ideally suited for the time lapse.


The second time I visit the place around 4:00 in the morning, the proposed start time for the time lapse. My impression of the place was there not so ideal, because I got unsightly stray light in the scene from a radar station in the background. So I had to go on the site down on the mountain, where the light had obviously no impact on the camera.


At the third attempt, the camera was there with me and I made some time-lapse shots for at home in post processing to look at them. That was good and important. So I found out the unsightly stray light also in the surrounding mountains due to the long exposure times will be recorded and must be specially treated in post processing.


Considerations about the settings for the time lapse.


Since I first time lapse no swivel movement using a MDKV4 motor turret and will run without the slider it comes to the camera setting from the night to the day. So, it is a time lapse where I control the interval of shoots of the camera via my external triggers. For automatic exposure control for the Canon EOS 5 d Mark III I used the TP-link Wi-Fi router fixed at the hot shoe. In the Router the DDS Server from DslrDashboard is installed. Thus built the local Wi-Fi network together with my nexus 7 tablet or to any Android smart phone.


On the Tablet / smart phone is currently the current DslrDashboard 2.9 software with the built-in LRTimelapse "Holy Grail" feature installed. Using this software, the total recording time of the exposure in the camera control and automatically adjust to the changing light conditions. The required settings are carried out, "Sunset" or "Sunrise" directly before the start of the recordings after selecting. To do this we come back sliok, I just clos the Word Programm and then i dont touchghtly later.

For the recording I plan use of the Canon EF 16-35 f4 to optimize the viewing angle and the reception area so once again the focal length choice spot. By the night shots, I'm with the Canon EOS 5 d Mark III  and ISO 3200 in the green zone. Experience has shown that I'm good results when night shooting at ISO 2500 and maximum aperture of f4 for 12-15 seconds exposure time.


I advise therefore simply times previously with the camera to try out what goes.  Taking into account the by 180 ° shutter rule my scheduled recording procedure is as follows:


1. interval time total: 30 second

2. exposure time: 20 seconds

3. save the RAW files: 2-3 seconds (according to CF cards)

4. more black time: 7 seconds according 180 ° shutter rule

5. recording - total duration: 3 h 30 min

6. total sequence at 25 fps: 560 frames video = 22 seconds


At least then, if in the recording, the automatic exposure control has put on lowest level the value for ISO and aperture to the smallest setting by f16, the shutter speed less than 4 seconds is regulated I will reduce the interval time manually from 30 seconds to 10 seconds for the black time to the shrink.


This is only possible if you use a programmable external trigger or also the MDK controller for interval control. Changing the interval times affected the auto exposure mode with DslrDashboard in no way.


Shortening the interval time increases the number of shots and thus also the entire sequence is longer by some seconds.

Time-lapse execution examble

It's mid-August and still way too hot to look for birds out there on the island.


So I took the opportunity to take a look at the announced large number of Perseides shooting stars and to capture as many of them as possible in a time-lapse.


For this purpose, I first searched for a place in the Akamas protected area with the app "Dark Sky Finder" in order to set up two cameras in light-poor surroundings. The aim was to capture the constellation Perseus from two different camera views and to show how it rotates around the Center formed by the northern star.


It was a long night with clear visibility from 10 o'clock in the evening to 4:00 in the morning, but unfortunately with very few shooting stars.  

I always had the impression all night that the hugely announced amount of Perseids had probably been lost in the universe. I went home a little disappointed.


At home I made a 4K time-lapse video out of the 1400 single pictures, which you can watch in the gallery.


When reworking the recorded time-lapse sequences, I use the listed devices and software as required.


• PC 32GB memory, I 5 Quadro processor, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

• Dell Monitor U2713HM

• LRTimelapse Software Pro - 64-bit

• Adobe Lightroom CC 64-bit
• Adobe Photoshop CC 64-bit

• Adobe Premiere CC 64-bit

• Adobe After Effects CC 64-bit

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